East Williston resident Lula Cardoza complained about speeding and dangerous driving around the North Side School at a meeting of the village Board of Trustees Tuesday night.
“A couple of times I’ve called where my son has almost been hit by a car crossing the street with a crossing guard,” Cardoza said. “It’s a shame that we have to wait for an incident to happen in order to do something.”
Cardoza, whose son attends the North Side School, and other residents expressed concerns over cars blatantly ignoring the instruction of crossing guards, sometimes speeding through crosswalks, yelling obscenities and blowing through stop signs obstructed by parked buses.
Nassau County Police Officer Robert Croce was present at the regularly scheduled meeting at Mayor David Tanner’s request, to address previous concerns about rowdy youths.
“We only have so many cops to go around and a lot of the officers, in their defense, in the day tour are serving crossing duties,” Croce said.
“When the police car is present, they slow down and stop,” Cardoza said.
The 3rd Precinct is aware of the issue, Croce said.
“We can’t even cross the street. Kids can’t ride their bikes,” Cardoza said.
After Cardoza reached out to the East Williston School District, the school principal contacted the problem-oriented police, or POP, officer about the issue and sent a letter to Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello about the speeding on East Williston Avenue, Cardoza said.
East Williston School District Superintendent Elaine Kanas was unavailable for comment.
“It’s a county road, state owned and county maintained,” Tanner said. “For the county to do anything there, they’re going to require some sort of engineering study because of the liability that comes with that.”
Suggestions from the board and other residents included the erection of opposite side stop signs, a traffic light, traffic regulations during school hours and reporting the license plates of dangerous drivers.
“There are so many different ways you can do it, but they all require some sort of study,” Deputy Mayor Bonnie L.S. Parente said.
“I have my own personal opinion on what should be down there,” Tanner said. “I think that it should be like I U Willets Road School, where they should have to drive up the avenue and there is a ‘U’ in front of the building and have a drop off there.
“I think the street’s way too narrow there, there’s too much other traffic there as well and some of that could be controlled by traffic lights,” Tanner said. “I’m no professional.”
Also brought up by resident Matthew Cuomo was the status of the potential erection of a wall and fence around the school by the school district.
“Have [school board members] acknowledged in any way that they are subject to village’s jurisdiction?” Cuomo said. Based on the language of the school board’s agenda, Cuomo said he believes the board is preparing to move forward with the project.
“They have not, not that I’ve seen,” Tanner said. But they have not said that they are not either, Parente said.
Village Trustee Christopher Siciliano, board liaison to the Department of Public Works, will attend the school district’s meeting on Monday night at the Wheatley School, where the issue is slated to be addressed.
“They did reach out and were trying to schedule something,” Parente said.
“If I was on their board and if they can accommodate us, I think I would say ‘yes, lets do it’ if they can still meet their objectives, I can’t see why they wouldn’t accommodate us,” Tanner said.
“It drives me crazy,” Cardoza said. “All this talk about the fence but nothing being done about traffic.”